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The Late Louche Composer Serge Gainsbourg Hits the Big Screen

Art & Design

The title of Joann Sfar’s Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life may have a drizzle of irony, but the bio-pic makes a case for why Brigitte Bardot’s old lover mattered.

Early next month, the gorgeous film opens at indie theaters in New York and Los Angeles, then goes wide in October. Go see it. Starring Eric Elmosnino as Gainsbourg, who made a living in Nazi-controlled Paris as a youth playing the piano in bar, the film follows the great lover of women through his childhood and into his later years, where he ushered in jazz, reggae and even electronica, despite being known mostly for his breathy duet with Bardot, “Bonnie and Clyde.” A drunk, a louse, but a one of a kind guy. It’s a fun, avant-garde adaptation of Sfar’s own graphic novel. And Laetitia Casta, portraying the bombshell Bardot, does the now-old -but-iconic broad justice. When it opened last year in Paris, it won two of the top Cesar Awards (for best first feature and best actor). In Manhattan the film opens August 31th at Film Forum. If you’re not hitting the beaches, hit Paris, vicariously. A decidedly different take on the City of Lights than Woody Allen’s uber-smooch-y lit-fantasy, Midnight in Paris.